1D, 2D and CCD Barcode Scanners

This question provides the basics for anyone thinking of purchasing a barcode scanner that is unfamiliar with what 1D, 2D and CCD (Charge Coupled Device) scanners are capable of.

Question:  We are a manufacturing company that manufactures large machines.  We are looking at barcoding inventory items as well as tracking jobs on the floor.  We are looking at hand held wireless barcode scanners and we were wondering about the differences in 1D, 2D and CCD. They will be used inside as well as outside the plant.  Also how do I know how far away they will scan?

Answer:  Those are some good questions. First, to answer the difference between 1D, 2D, and CCD scanners, you’ll want to go with a 2D scanner most likely. CCD scanners are for close contact scanning, so if you try to scan a barcode more than 2 or 3 inches away a CCD scanner won’t work for you. I would suggest going with a 2D scanner for the simple fact that they can also scan 1D barcodes. Most scanners on the market come with imaging technology, which will allow you to scan 1D and 2D barcodes, as well as take pictures. For example, the Intermec SR61ex scanner pictured at left is capable of all those things and can scan from 6 inches to 50 feet away.  For the most part, you aren’t losing any quality or speed in your scans, in fact, imaging can provide better results than laser scanners in most instances.

As for how far the scanner will read, that all depends upon the scan engines you have in your device as well as the radio that you have. I would suggest talking with a Systems Integrator in order to find the best scanners/mobile computers for your applications. If you are working in an indoor/outdoor environment you will also have to take a look at the screen to ensure that you can read it in both environments. If you would like more help determining what kind of devices are right for your environment, please contact me at ehodges@barcode.com.